Organic Farming Internship Programme in Horticulture 2019


Organic Farming Internship Programme - Horticulture

Feb 2019

Application deadline extended until Saturday 9th March 2019!!!!

Dec 2019

Application Form and Host Farm Profiles are now available here


About the programme.

 This work placement will involve a minimum of 30 hours a week work over a six month period on a well-established organic, horticultural farm in Ireland. The participants will be employed by the individual farms directly, and will be supported by a formal training programme which is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine. This high quality training programme will bring together in a formal framework, what the apprentices are learning practically on a day to day basis on the farm. The apprentices are employed directly by the farms and the OGI oversee the recruitment and delivery of the training and certification

Central Aim of the Organic Farming Internship Programme - Horticulture

Provide a high standard of practical skills and knowledge transfer with the aim of leading to employment within organic horticulture

·      Develop an understanding of sustainable organic systems of farming based upon biological and environmental concepts

·      Develop an understanding of the economics of running a successful horticultural enterprise

·      Set the groundwork and knowledge base for running an on-going Organic Farming Internship Programme 

The programme aims to stimulate the personal development and confidence of trainees, in their own ability to think for themselves and embrace new technologies. The programme will help bridge the gap between students who have completed horticultural courses, or have some practical work experience, and give them the confidence to start up their own horticultural enterprise, or take on the management of an existing horticultural enterprise.


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for the Programme will either have completed a Level 5 FETAC qualification in horticulture, or have a minimum of one year work experience on a farm.



A Certificate of Completion for the Internship Programme will be issued from the Organic Growers of Ireland on successfully completing the work placement on their host farm, attending all workshops and farm walks, completing the 25 hour block course on Organic principles, Standards & Certification as well as completing their written project on a chosen crop.

Formal Training within the Organic Farming Internship programme - Horticulture

The Programme will incorporate a formal training programme of six workshops over the period of the Internship. The workshops will be given by outside experts on core set subjects and each workshop will be of one day’s duration. The workshops will be based on a structured syllabus, covering the technical knowledge and economic managementrequired for good crop production, as well as sales and marketing options and strategies. 

·      A series of six farm walks on each of the host farms, looking in depth at one crop which work well for that host farm

·      A 25 hour block course on will focus on Organic principles, Standards & Certification and the apprentices should produce a conversion plan for an organic enterprise.

Role of the OGI in the Organic Farming Internship Programme - Horticulture

The OGI have formed a steering committee to oversee the management of the Programme. The day to day running of the Programme is being managed by the Co-ordinator for the Programme – Noel Clinton, and he is the contact person for all enquiries.

E-mail. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Role of the Host Farm in the Organic Farming Internship Programme - Horticulture

Provide paid employment according to the national minimum wage standards for employees on a structured training programme, see appendix below

·      Ensure the farm is a safe place to work, and that good health and safety procedures are adhered to

·      Provide a minimum of 30 hours’ work per week for a minimum of six months

·      Provide the opportunity to work in as many different areas of production as possible, as well as explaining the business planning, budgeting, marketing and longer term planning of the business

·      Provide regular one to one mentoring

·      Allow flexibility for trainees to attend formal training days associated with the Internship Programme

·       Host one farm walk on their own farm for all apprentices


Minimum Wage Standards


The National Minimum Wage Act also provides sub-minimum rates which apply to employees who are over 18 and undergoing a course of structured training or directed study that is authorised or approved of by the employer.

Since 1 January 2016 the trainee rates provided by the Act are as follows, see also 'Rates' below:

  • First one-third of training course €7.17 per hour (75% of national minimum wage rate)
  • Second one-third of training course €7.64 per hour (80% of national minimum wage rate)
  • Final one third of the training course €8.60 per hour (90% of national minimum wage rate)

Note: each one third period must be at least one month and no more than one year.

The Act provides certain criteria which the training course must meet if the trainee rates are to apply. For example, the training or study must be for the purposes of improving the work performance of the employee; the employee's participation on the training or study must be directed or approved by the employer; at least 10% of the training must occur away from the employee’s ordinary operational duties; there must be an assessment and certification procedure or written confirmation on the completion of the training course.


Interested in joining?

  • Share techniques
  • Free events
  • Access information

Upcoming Events

No current events.